Home > Woodworking > Hat and Coat Rack

Hat and Coat Rack

In the modern vernacular I happen to be “follicly challenged” so I always try to wear a cap to and from the parking lot and when I’m walking about. Also I always keep a coat and umbrella in my office  just because Boy Scouts are to “Be Prepared”. As a woodworker it occurred to me about a year ago that it would be nice to have a place to keep these items together and off the floor but I just never quite got around to making one until the Christmas break.


If you are expecting something amazing please be advised this was a quick, easy and fun project to build. It only took me a couple of hours from start to finish and it was a great way to ease back into the shop without stressing myself. I could have made it better and I could have made it more complicated but I chose to simply “Git Ur Done”. If I were to make this as a gift I’d probably take the opportunity to use more traditional joinery.

The Plan

Originally I was going to shrink the Chris Schwarz’s (French inspired) “Tool Rack” but along the way I ran in to Megan Fitzpatrick’s article on her “Weekend Pot Rack” plan. If you look you can see they are similar in overall appearance but the pot rack was just a hair closer to what I was looking for and Megan had provided a SketchUp model.

French Tool Rack

French Tool Rack

Weekend Pot Rack

Weekend Pot Rack

I downloaded the model and scaled down from 40″ in length to 22″ which is what I required to fit the back of my office door. After scaling the model looked great and I simply adjusted the thickness of my stock to reasonable and round numbers and otherwise minor adjustments to suit my tastes. I didn’t take the time to edit the model (because I’m lazy) I simply printed it out to scale and made hand written notes on the changes.

Scaled Pot Rack

Once scaled the pot rack was now the basis for my hat and coat rack

I used 4,  2 1/2″ shaker pegs which I had purchased from Home Depot for this project and a length of 1/2″ dowel which I had on hand. The rack itself was made from cypress which again I had on hand. The original plan was to use pine but it occurred to me that cypress would be plenty durable for this purpose and I already have a floor lamp which I had previously made which is also cypress.

The Build

Not much to it actually. I printed out a full-sized profile of the side which I cut out and glued to my board. I cut it out on the band saw then used this piece to make the same shape on the other side piece. After cutting out the other side, I used double stick tape and faired the curve on my oscillating belt sander. I didn’t bother with a template and router as I only needed these two pieces to match and be pleasing to me. It didn’t take long at all to sand to the line.

While the two pieces were taped together, I marked and drilled the 1/2″ hole for the dowel cross-piece on the drill press. This guarantees the holes will line up assuming of course the sides are square when assembled.

To make that happen I used a Rockler assembly square to hold it true while I glued and screwed it in place. I bought two of these a couple of years ago and I use them on almost ever project that involves a case. I you don’t want to spend the money I highly recommend making up a few in different sizes something I plan to do “real soon now”. I repeated gluing the other side making sure to insert the (oversized) dowel to aid in alignment.

Once the sides were in place I measured and cut the center board and marked for the peg holes. I had purchased 6 but after playing with it, decided that 4 pegs were the correct number for this design. I marked and drilled the 1/2″ holes for the pegs before gluing and screwing the board in place. I made sure to mock-up the dowel before deciding on final placement of the peg board. I didn’t want them to interfere with each other and space was tight enough with the smaller scale of the project. I’m glad I purchased the smaller pegs.

After gluing the pegs home, the final step was to mark and cut the dowel to length which was then glued in place.

Assembled Hat Rack

Assembled hat rack ready for a coat of tung oil finish.

The first thing I did after the holiday break was to install and try out my new rack. Sometimes it’s the small things that make our lives better and I have to say, I love this small thing.

Completed hat and coat rack.

Simple hat and coat rack is now in service.

Turtlecove wishes you a safe, successful and blessed 2016!


  1. January 7, 2016 at 1:21 pm

    Awesome job. Funny how projects that are supposedly so simple are also the most practical and most useful. I’ve been meaning to build a version of this rack for some time and I think you just gave me the inspiration I need to get it done.

  2. January 7, 2016 at 1:31 pm

    Thanks Bill… I kept it very simple but one could dress it up considerably with sliding dovetails for the sides (or dados) and through tenons for the peg board. Or not and just keep it very simple. I was impressed by how easily it scaled down, you can build one to fit just about any space you need.

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